Six best bets for your 2020 arts calendar

2020 brings new art and can’t-miss events to the Sacramento region

Yum, yum! A new Wayne Thiebaud exhibit comes to the Crocker this fall. Just don’t eat the paintings, you philistine!

Yum, yum! A new Wayne Thiebaud exhibit comes to the Crocker this fall. Just don’t eat the paintings, you philistine!

Photo courtesy of Crocker Art Museum

With the New Year come new opportunities to take in the culture our region has to offer. From music festivals to touring acts, cultural shifts to film screenings, we run you through some great upcoming events. Grab your pocket calendar and save the dates, because this is SN&R’s not-very-comprehensive list of things to do in 2020.

Can world class soccer come to Sac? The Washington Spirit and North Carolina Courage could use some competition.

Photo by Piqsels/cc by-Sa 0

The kick-off

Between Sacramento Republic FC’s recent Major League Soccer deal, plus plans for a big, shiny $300 million stadium in the middle of the downtown railyards, soccer is really starting to take off in Sacramento. And while the MLS hype is neat, it also opens the door for some world class soccer to take root in Sac by way of the National Women’s Soccer League. Following the 2019 U.S. Women’s World Cup victory, the NWSL has seen an increased interest in expansion to new cities, including Louisville and Sacramento. Last October, it was reported that Sacramento FC owners were close to acquiring an NWSL expansion team for the 2020 season, but plans were halted when the league announced they wouldn’t be adding any new teams until 2021. So what is there to look forward to in 2020, specifically? Probably more rumors and more buzz, but also (optimistically) an announcement for a 2021 women’s team with a name even wilder than Louisville’s “Proof Louisville FC.” Ultimately, we can look forward to thinking about looking forward to seeing an equal amount of men and women bonking balls off their melons. Very cool!

Go “Wild” for eco-friendly films

For those with a stake in the future of the environment and humanity’s continued role living in it, there’s a five-day film festival right around the corner: the Wild and Scenic Film Festival, Jan. 16-20. Sponsored by the South Yuba River Citizens League, the 18th installment of the activism-themed film extravaganza returns with more than 100 films shown across Nevada City and Grass Valley. The films, varying from short-film to feature-length, document the many ways life is changing the world over. Eva Rendle’s All That Remains tells the story of the aftermath of the devastating wine country fires. Bare Existence sheds light on the fragile existence of the polar bear and the efforts of biologists to protect the charismatic animals. Tamara Kotevska and Ljubomir Stefanov’s Honeyland examines the work of a Macedonian bee hunter to save ailing bee populations and grapple with problematic beekeeping practices. Catch these films, plus some world premieres, workshops and discussions with filmmakers committed to sharing the world without a filter. (Jan. 16-20, various locations in Nevada City and Grass Valley).

Look out, a Cher-athon is coming your way!

Photo courtesy of Machado Cicala


Stephen Kaltenbach is the Davis artist responsible for a handful of iconic Sacramento works of art—including the fountain sculpture outside the Sacramento Convention Center, “Time to Cast Away Stones”; the enormous not-attached sculpted head of a woman outside the East Sacramento Dos Coyotes on Folsom Boulevard, “Matter Contemplates Spirit”; and the Crocker’s permanent collection portrait of Kaltenbach’s father, “Portrait of My Father.”

The Jan Shrem and Maria Manetti Shrem Museum of Art will open a solo exhibition of Kaltenbach’s work, “Kaltenbach: The Beginning and The End,” coinciding with the 50th anniversary of the artist’s departure from the world of conceptual art. It’s the first solo exhibition of Kaltenbach in 40 years, and the exhibit is curated by Constance Lewallen and Ted Mann. It strives to explore the artist’s relationship with time. Join the opening celebration Jan. 26 from 3-5 p.m. (Jan. 26-May 10, Manetti Shrem Museum of Art, Davis).

Hang out with the bees in Honeyland at Wild and Scenic Film Festival.

Photo courtesy of Honeyland

Cher a little

If we could turn back time, we’d probably irreparably damage the timeline of Cher’s career, forcing her into a never-ending Burlesque Broadway tour that always seems to skip over the Golden 1 Center, probably because the Golden 1 doesn’t even exist. But we can’t manipulate time, so look out, Golden 1 Center, Cher’s coming to town. She’s come a long way—from playing Meryl Streep’s best friend in Silkwood to playing Meryl Streep’s mom in Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again. As part of her “Here We Go Again Tour,” she’ll perform some tracks off her ABBA cover album, Dancing Queen, along with some other hits from throughout her decade-spanning career. Sacramento’s the last stop before she calls it quits—not for real, just this tour. Probably. (May 6, Golden 1 Center).

BottleRock it

The Memorial Day weekend festival set in scenic, wine-growing Napa Valley is just around the corner—May 22-24. It’s billed as the “first taste of summer,” despite its firm temporal existence in late-spring. Pre-sales have ended, which is interesting considering the festival’s line-up has yet to be announced. Those highly relevant tidbits of information are set to be released Jan. 6, with three-day tickets going on sale the following day.

Last year, BottleRock featured headliners Imagine Dragons, Neil Young and Mumford & Sons, plus Santana, Pharrell Williams, Logic and many more. Keep an eye out for that exciting drop in a few days, or imagine which groups and artists could possibly crop up: Weird Al Yankovic? Lil Nas X? The options are endless. With three stages to fill over three days, there’s bound to be an artist of a genre that appeals to everyone’s sensibilities. Until the list gets released, consider the timeless culinary options the festival has to offer: wine, beer and food. (May 22-24, Napa Valley Expo)

A piece of the pie

The Crocker Art Museum has got a jam-packed lineup for the new decade, featuring art installations by Bill Viola and ceramic sculptures by Sacramento native Akinsanya Kambon, to name a couple. Winding down toward the end of the year, art-thusiasts can also look forward to a new Wayne Thiebaud exhibit. He’s best known for his bright, pop art renditions of confections such as pies, cakes and ice cream cones. Last year, his piece “Blueberry Custard” was auctioned off at $3.225 million, which seems a little high for a slice of pie—unless the paint is edible. Are people allowed to lick the paint? In addition to his more popular dessert paintings, this new exhibit will show off the span of his work, including cityscapes and figure paintings. On top of his new exhibit, he’ll also be turning 100 this November. Happy Birthday, Wayne! Here’s to a century of living and reasonably priced birthday cake. (Oct. 11-Jan. 3, Crocker Art Museum)